Almost 34,000 of the 70,000 streetlights throughout Austin have been outfitted with communications nodes that signal Austin Energy when a light is out or when a light stays on during the day. The system also allows the utility to remotely adjust when streetlights turn on and off to better match seasonal sunrise and sunset changes. And, it provides economy of response when maintenance is needed, because all streetlights in an area with issues can be addressed in one repair trip.
In addition to the communications nodes, crews are installing fixtures that shine the light down rather than out and up. That work is part of the City of Austin Dark Sky initiative. Both the installation of the communications system and the Dark Sky retrofits are projected for completion by the end of this year.
The communications system is projected to save almost $400,000 a year in reduced streetlight energy use. Significant savings will also be achieved through economy of scale maintenance response. These streetlight initiatives began in the spring of 2011.
|An Austin Energy crew replaces an older streetlight fixture with one of the new flat style casings for Dark Sky compliance and increased energy efficiency.|
|The new light fixtures have a transmitter on top that will alert Austin Energy when maintenance is required.|